We love to dish-out advice.
To hear our own voice extolling pearls of wisdom from our unique and clearly incontestable view of the situation.
But how often do we enjoy following the advice of others? Not often. Why?
- To give advice = status elevation.
- To listen to advice = status threat.
But listening to advice is so much more than status threat. It can be learning. And perspective. And inspiration. And expansion of the thinking.
And ok: it can also be distraction. And interruption. And too much input or information. But that’s a mostly acceptable risk – and to the point, less likely the reason we’d rather give advice than take it.
But on to the question I really want to pose:
How often do we follow our own advice?
Not often. And why is that? No status threat there. Isn’t it because our internal naysayer voice is neutralising our own advice with overcautious pessimism?
So, what would change for us, if we did follow our own advice?
Good things. Things like …
- DECISIONS. Acting on the decision we’ve already made – but pretending we haven’t, as we search around for reasons, or permission, or confidence or who knows what.
- NETWORKING & COLLABORATION. Connecting with new and inspiring people who energise and inspire us and who we’d love to collaborate with – but we’ve decided wouldn’t be interested in what we bring.
- CHALLENGE & STRETCH. Taking that step out of a comfort zone that we know we can and that will massively move us forward – but that we’ve created an unhelpful story around which has made us hesitate, ad infinitum.
- PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. Invest in ourselves and in our impassioned projects – rather than let them sit, dormant, on the shelf, until who knows what special alignment of the planets we’ve decided is crucially to the timing.
- CAREER. Going for the job we actually want and deserve – rather than sticking with the one that’s beneath us, in conflict with our values and is making us miserable.
We expect everyone around us to listen to and drink-in our advice. And looking at the list above – why not! It’s all great, empowering, reaffirming stuff.
So, perhaps it’s time we took our own advice?